A 46-year-old male teacher from Anaconda High School in southwestern Montana was caught in an avalanche on Saturday while backcountry skiing. He was skiing on top of Olson Gultch near Anaconda, Montana when the avalanche struck.
He was able to dig himself out of the avalanche debris and call for help but died at the scene due to injuries sustained in the avalanche. According to the Canadian Medical Association Journal, around 25% of avalanche fatalities are due to traumatic injuries sustained in the avalanche.
Search and rescue crews from the Anaconda Fire Department responded to the call, but were unable to help.
“There was nothing they [rescuers] could do. He died at the scene.” – Anaconda-Deer Lodge County Coroner Gerry Thomas
This was the 6th avalanche death in Montana this winter. This was the 27th avalanche death in the USA this winter. In the past 10 years, the USA has averages 28 avalanche fatalities per winter.